Bicycle Unit: Monster Bikes

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity

Bicycle Unit: Monster Bike

Author

STOMP

Keywords

audience, design, monster bike, specific needs, target audience, prototype

Subject

Non-LEGO

Grade Level

4, 5, 6

Time

1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students will talk about how engineers have to consider the audience that they are designing for before creating a design. Students will use this discussion to design a bike for a monster with specific needs.

Lesson Objectives:

- To understand targeting audiences in engineering design.

- To practice drawing and producing prototypes.

Materials Needed:

- Large poster sized paper

- Large colored markers

- Monster Bike Handouts

Preparation and Set Up:

- Arrange students in groups of 2 – 3.

- Distribute materials to each group.

Necessary Background

When engineers design machines, they have to be aware of the audience that they are targeting with their product. there are many features of the bike that make it not only pleasing to the human eye, but comfortable and practical for human use. for example, a bike for a little girl might be small enough for her, have training wheels to help her ride, be painted her favorite color, and have frilly streamers coming off the sides.

There are many questions that an engineer has ask about their audience. A few examples are:

Who is the audience?

What sort of features does the target audience wand on their machine?

What does the audience like? dislike?

What can the audience do? not do?

Does the product look appealing to the audience?

Does the product function for the audience?

Vocabulary:

Audience

Engineering design

Procedure

  1. Tell students to brainstorm what a vehicle might look like when the target audience is a monster.
  2. Tell students that, like a bike, the monster will power the vehicle. Tell the students that their vehicle does not have to look anything like a bike and to be creative.
  3. The monster:
    1. Is as tall as three people.
    2. Weighs 500 pounds.
    3. Has three very long arms.
    4. Has no eyes.
    5. Uses his front antennae to feel around.
    6. Gets seasick when he leans forward.
    7. Can hear very well.
    8. Can blow lots and lots of air.
    9. Has a very large bottom.
    10. Likes to ride over rocky and hilly surfaces.
    11. Has very short legs and small feet.
    12. Has a very delicate head.
    13. Has very large hands.

  • Have the students draw out their prototype of the vehicle on the poster. Have each group pick a catchy slogan to write on the poster.
  • On the worksheet, have students write down features of the vehicle and why they included these features.
  • Display the posters in the front of the class.
  • Allow each group to show off 2 -3 features of their vehicle and share why they included them as if they were selling the vehicle to the monster.
  • Have a class discussion about the designs. Ask students:
    1. Which of the monster’s characteristics made it most difficult to design the vehicle?
    2. Are any features on different groups designs similar? Why or why not?
    3. Would this vehicle work for a human? Why or why not?
    4. Which features would the monster like the best? Which would he dislike?

    Reference 1

    http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/monster1.pdf

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